Directors at the Old Laundry Theatre in Bowness were saddened to learn this week that dear friend of the theatre, and virtuoso violinist Peter Cropper has died aged 69. Peter had performed many times over the last twenty years at the Old Laundry, and always to a large and loyal crowd who enjoyed his tremendous joie de vivre – appreciating his unique interaction with the audience, speaking directly from the stage and breaking down the barriers of classical music. Plans were afoot this year for a very special 70th birthday anniversary concert which everyone had been greatly looking forward to.
Peter was the founder and, for almost 40 years, the leader of the Lindsay String Quartet, widely regarded as the finest string quartet this country has ever produced. He was also the founder of Music in the Round, which now promotes concerts all over England and was highly regarded throughout the classical music world, both as a player producing best-selling recordings and as a teacher and competition judge. Pianist Martin Roscoe, recently dedicated his concert at the Wigmore Hall in London to Peter, honouring the musician with whom both he and cellist Moray Welsh played regularly in the Old Laundry.
Peter has been described as “The Mick Jagger of the String Quartet”, “more than a very good musician, a visionary performer” and “a man with such a massive personality and passion for music”.
The Old Laundry Theatre will miss him and his wonderful performances greatly, and remember him for all these qualities, and for his passion for education – introducing young people to music and in turn passing this legacy on to his son Martin, a brilliant teacher and player in his own right.